One of five commissioners in charge of the Federal Communications Commission is pushing to sideline the NFL blackout rule once and for all.
Ajit Pai said as much on Tuesday in Buffalo, his hometown.
“Our job at the FCC is to enforce the public interest," Commissioner Pai said, "not the private interest of team owners.”
Under the 40-year-old blackout rule, there is no televising of games in the team’s home town unless tickets are sold out 72 hours in advance. Sports fans have formed coalitions objecting to the blackouts.
Bradley Brakeman of the National Sports Fans Coalition said some people just can’t afford the average NFL ticket price of $82, plus all the other expenses.
“Parking, tickets, you buy yourself a beer, feed your kids. It’s not a decision that’s made on a whim anymore because of expense," he said. "You’ve got to plan to go to a game.”
Commissioner Pai says he has not polled his fellow FCC commissioners, but expects they will make a decision in the near future.